Block Propagation

What: Once a new block has been created, it is propagated to the entire network. According the paper ‘Information propagation in the bitcoin network.’
by Decker and Wattenhofer the mean time for a node to see a block is 12.6 seconds, after 40 seconds 95% of the nodes see the block.

Bitcoin’s blockchain throughput is measured by the number of transactions per second that it can support. Transactions/Block is Bitcoin’s current block capacity and average transaction size:

Transactions/Block = Bitcoin capacity /average Transaction size

Transactions/Block * Blocks/second (Inverse of Block interval) = Network Throughput

Bitcoin’s current Block capacity (2018) is 1MB for a Block interval of ~10 min. With an average transaction size of ~540 bytes, the Bitcoin network currently processes ~1950 transactions per Block, which is ~3 transactions per second (TPS).

You can view a history of Bitcoin propagation rates (blocks and transactions) here:


« Back to Glossary Index